Meet Christopher McKennan, PhD’19

How was your experience in the PhD program in Statistics?

I truly enjoyed my time as a graduate student at UChicago. Faculty in the department are leaders in their field and have a wide breadth of research interests, ranging from theoretical to applied statistics. I personally was lucky enough to work with Dan Nicolae, who let me to work on statistical problems with immediate scientific application. I also met amazing scientific collaborators from other departments who I continue to collaborate with today.

Did you feel that the environment in the department was inclusive?


Did you feel that you had enough support within the department from faculty and staff to assist in any needs you may have had?

Yes, the faculty and staff were always quick to address any questions of concerns I had.

How were your job prospects after graduating, and what are you doing now?

UChicago's PhD program in Statistics provides exceptional training for a career in research and academia. I applied for tenure track positions during the last year of my PhD and received several offers. I am now an Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Are there aspects of your degree program that have been particularly relevant or useful in your job hunt or current work?

I continue to use material from the courses I took while a graduate student in my research today. However, the most important part of my training was the research I did with my advisor, which taught me how to work independently to solve challenging problems.

Is there anything else you would like to add for prospective students to know when applying to the program?

If you are interested in a career in research or academic statistics, UChicago is the place for you!